Demonstrators took to the streets of downtown Fort Lauderdale and Northeast Miami-Dade to march for women’s rights, now that a landmark Supreme Court decision may be weeks away from being overturned.
Saturday’s demonstrations across the country were part of what abortion rights groups called a day of action.
At issue is the possibility that the nation’s highest court will overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision protecting a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.
7News cameras captured protesters in front of the Federal Courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Saturday afternoon.
Former Florida State Sen. Eleanor Sobel was among those who turned out.
“This is about freedom. This is about the freedom of women, and they’re destroying our freedom, from local government to the Supreme Court,” she said.
“I don’t think that a few religious freaks should control what happens to the rest of our bodies,” said another demonstrator.
Another crowd gathered in Northeast Miami Dade at Ives Estates Park.
“If a woman wants to stay at home, and they want to cook, and they want to clean, that’s her choice, and I bet she’s happy, but if a woman wants to go out and be single and not have children and be able to have an abortion and do whatever she wants with the body, that’s what this is about,” said protester Stacy Johnson. “It’s about having our own choice and control over our own lives.”
A sea of demonstrators turning out elsewhere in the country: in the Northeast, Southwest, Midwest, and up and down the West Coast, from Seattle to Los Angeles.
Thousands descended upon the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., and thousands more crossed the Brooklyn Bridge.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who is among the justices reported to support overturning Roe v. Wade, spoke at a center-right think tank on Friday. Among the topics he discussed was the unprecedented leak of the draft opinion that revealed national protection for abortions over the last 49 years in the U.S. could be drawing to an end.
“When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally,” said Thomas. “You begin to look over your shoulder. It’s like kind of an infidelity, that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it.”
But Thomas did not weigh in on reports that his wife, conservative activist Ginni Thomas, was in touch with the chief of staff during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol Building, urging former President Donald Trump to work to overturn the election.
Justice Thomas did not recuse himself from cases involving the insurrection or the 2020 election.
Rabbi Robyn Fischer, who attended one of the local rallies, said that looking at abortion rights from a Christian perpective harms Americans who are not Christian.
“My religion is interpreted differently than a Christian theology. My practice of my passionate faith cannot be determined by what somebody else’s religion tells me to do,” said Fischer.